Under commissioner's rules approved in December 2013, students who will graduate in 2013-14 may choose to earn a Foundation High School Program diploma, if they can complete the necessary coursework during the 2013-14 school year or during summer 2014.

Because the State Board of Education won’t finalize plans for the new program’s endorsements and performance acknowledgements until January 2014, current seniors who switch to the new program will receive the basic Foundation diploma only.

They must earn a total of 22 and one-half credit hours in:

Subject Credits
English Language Arts 4
Math 3
Science 3
Social Studies 3
Languages Other than English 2
Physical Education 1
Fine Arts 1
Electives 5
Speech  ½

The courses they may choose from to fulfill the credit requirements in each subject area are specified in the commissioner’s rules, which take effect Dec. 16, 2013.

The rules, which facilitate the transition to the new Foundation program, also state that students who entered grade 9 before 2012-13, or in the 2012-13 or 2013-14 school years, have the option to graduate under the Foundation High School Program if they choose to take courses under the new program during the 2014-15 school year.

The rules specify that students who enter grade 9 before the 2014-15 school year may elect to change high school graduation programs upon request at any time before graduation.